With the chilly winter weather, it can be challenging to spend as much time outdoors as we might like. Rain can force us to stay cooped up indoors and early dark evenings can sometimes even cut short our outdoor play time in the afternoon. On days like these, you might be looking for new activities or projects to try with the children in your care to add variety to your time spent inside.
Below, we have listed some fun and simple ways to bring the outdoors into the classroom with art projects and activities.
Painting on Foil
Using blue or white paint on foil can offer the appearance of a winter wonderland! This activity is a fantastic process art opportunity for toddlers who enjoy a sensory experience. To paint, children can use their hands, or experiment with a different materials such as a Q-Tip as Louise shared in her blog, Messy Little Monster.
Clay Nature Sculpture
Creative Little Explorers shared this open-ended sculpting activity, using natural materials and clay. Try this out with your 3-5 year olds using natural objects that you find outside, such as twigs, sticks, pinecones, or maybe even some leaves for added decor! These materials can be collected ahead of time and displayed in an inviting provocation, or collected as a group in a nature walk around your neighborhood and yard! The sculpture will look like a beautiful snowy scene, and can be continuously added to over time.
Because the clay dries hard, it tends to be sturdy enough to be left standing for a while. This project could be an ongoing or long-term project that the children keep coming back to and working on throughout the week.
Sparkly Winter Wonderland
There are many ways to create a winter wonderland scene. Using silver or white along with soft hues of blue and purple will create a final product that make you feel like you’re in a scene from Frozen. Sarah of Stay at Home Educator shared a Winter Wonderland activity for toddlers and young preschoolers, using paint, epsom salt, and glue. The final product was a beautiful piece of art with unique texture and depth! This is a great way to use a material other than glitter to add some sparkle and shine.
Sheryl of Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds, offered a similar project with another added twist– pipettes! Rather than using paintbrushes, she offered the children an opportunity to pipe watercolor onto the paper for another unique element.
We hope that you’ll give some of these ideas a try! Share with us how they go, by posting on our Facebook page.